Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff and new assistant general manager Scott Pioli have a long history that goes back to their New England days, where they helped build the Patriots into a dynasty.
As the years passed and the two became more attractive to move up the NFL personnel ladder, they went their separate ways — Dimitroff being named Falcons general manager in 2008 and Pioli with the Chiefs in 2009.
The two often talked about working together again, and with Pioli working in the media with NBC Sports and Sirius XM Radio these days, the opportunity was there for Pioli to join Dimitroff in Atlanta.
“Scott’s one of the best football men in this league,” Dimitroff said Wednesday at the Senior Bowl, “and to have an opportunity for him to sit at the table and provide insight at so many levels, not only from all the successes that Scott has had but also the challenges that he’s had and the insight that he has… it can help in so many ways, like mentoring our young personnel people.
“This isn’t just about personnel; it’s about building football teams. Talking about leadership, there’s a lot that Scott and I can share.”
Pioli joins a staff that has seen a lot of turnover in recent years, with the Director of Player Personnel position being vacated several times — Les Snead moved on to the Rams and David Caldwell was hired by the Jaguars.
Pioli worked with current Director of Player Personnel Lionel Vital at Cleveland and New England, and there’s plenty of familiarity to build on as the three work together in the future.
“I’ll be at the table and, where I’m needed, I’ll be available,” Pioli said. “A lot of this is fluid because all of us know one another — all of us guys on the staff. I’ve known his staff and the guys on it for a long time, so it’s going to be a collaborative effort in just trying to get to know each other and knowing where I can fit in and where I can add some value.”